I know we all can use more ways to save money right? What about make it? Yeah, we could all use some ways to do that too! Here’s a list of things that I either personally do or plan on doing very soon because other people do it and have recommended them to me!
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1. Start a side hustle
I know this sounds so intimidating. Starting a blog for me was very intimidating but sometimes you just gotta jump in a do it. Passionate about writing and helping others? A blog might be for you!
Super creative and crafty? Selling stuff on Etsy may be the way to go!
You could also drive for Lyft. I no longer drive now that I have Liam, but when I did drive, it was sooo easy to make a few hundred bucks in one day! It’s great cuz you can really do it whenever you want. I’d drive for a few hours, then go home. If I felt like making more money, I’d go out again at night. If you have a reliable car, clean background, and some extra time then this is seriously an easy to make money. And I will say I never had any sketchy people ride with me – all of my experiences were super positive!
Whatever it is, though, realize that this option will take the most time and effort but also could have the biggest payoff!
2. Sign up for Ebates
I have advocated for Ebates for years now! I found it by chance a few years ago and quickly started earning with it. I will admit I forgot about it for a little while but I did recently (within the last 6 months) start using it again.
If you shop online then you WILL make money using Ebates! Almost every online store participates (Amazon, Target, WalMart, even some higher end stores like Kate Spade!) They all have a percentage of cash back you will receive on purchases. The trick is remembering to FIRST go to ebates.com, then find the website you wanna shop from. That’s why I added the Ebates button to my browser bar. When I'm on a website that participates, it flashes and reminds me to click it! You just click it and it activates. Now you’ll get cash back for whatever you buy at the website you’re at! It even automatically finds coupon codes that store may have.
I HIGHLY recommend starting to do all your shopping with Ebates. If you click through my link, we’ll both get something special.
3. Use Coupons!
I know this one sounds annoying, but it’s totally worth it. I use Cartwheel for Target every single time I go (which is a lot…) and I’ve saved a few hundred bucks. Almost everything I buy at Target has a cartwheel coupon and that adds up!
I don’t clip too many coupons because I don’t get the newspaper, but when I get ads in the mail that include coupons I always go through them and cut the ones I want. I’m never above saving a few cents because that will amount to dollars eventually. If you get the newspaper, take a few minutes to sift through the coupons and get the ones you want. Even a few bucks will feel good to save!
4. Use Groupon
I check Groupon for EVERYTHING. And I usually find a Groupon for it! I found my haircut place through Groupon and I still go there. So not only did I get a deal the first time I went, but I found a place I love. This one seems like a no-brainer to me- if you’re gonna get a massage or book a hotel, why not try to get it for a little cheaper!?
I’ve been doing UserTesting for a while now and it can bring in some serious bucks if you’re diligent about doing it. Basically, you’re reviewing a website or app. You record yourself using the website and doing the tasks it asks of you. It’s kind of fun!
It does require a little test to become a tester but it’s pretty easy. Then, once you’re approved, you log in whenever you want and see what tests are available. The trick is qualifying – sometimes they want special skills (like a coder), but usually it’s just demographic related. In the past 2 weeks, I’ve made $100 from doing them! Each test usually pays $10 and never takes more than 15 minutes.
6. Start cooking at home
Okay this one isn’t some special trick or website but it WILL help you save money. Cooking at home doesn’t have to be hard or frustrating! Nowadays, there are so many great resources for finding recipes and tips on how to cook. Pinterest, Youtube, even just regular ol’ Google can help you. Give yourself a goal of eating out only once in a month and see how much money you save! Peter and I try to only eat out when there’s something special going on (birthday, anniversary, etc). That way it’s more special when we do go out and we save money!
7. Find paid focus groups in your area
This one can be pretty rewarding but it’s also a little more challenging. When I was first looking for focus groups ,I just googled “focus groups in Chicago” and found a few companies. Most major cities have paid focus groups happening all the time. I’ve probably made a few thousand dollars doing these over the past few years. Sometimes, I get a ton of them and then I’ll go a long time without any, so it’s not the most steady way to make money but most of the time they pay pretty well. If you’re in the Chicago area or surrounding suburbs try these ones:
8. Have a savings plan
I’m still working on this one for myself but I know how important it is to follow through with a savings plan. Pick a percentage of your paycheck and stick with it. Even if it’s 2% - it’s better than 0! Overtime, you will see a significant growth in your savings account and probably feel a whole lot better. This is one of my goals for the rest of 2018 and definitely for 2019. My plan will be to save 15% of each paycheck and see where that gets me. I also save all the money I make from UserTesting!
Bonus #9 - Pay off your credit cards
With any extra money you make or save do this one thing: PAY OFF YOUR CREDIT CARDS!! The interest will seriously drive you insane and you’ll never pay them off if you only pay the minimum. Once your cards are paid off, the freedom you feel will be amazing and you’ll have all that extra money to do whatever you want with!
As an example, I have a credit card that used to have a $300 limit – I would pay $15 a month on it because that was the minimum. It took me 3 YEARS to pay this credit card off! I paid almost quadruple what the balance was because I paid only the minimum.
Maybe you can’t afford to pay the whole thing, but at least double your payment (if you can). Trust me, you will be soooo much better off AND your credit score will likely go up if you pay your balances down. Win-win!
If you’re really serious about making or saving a little extra money, then I suggest taking a few of these tips and really committing. Little changes can really go a long way. I’ll also mention it’s all about the mindset! If you have a goal (buying a house/car, going on a trip) then it will be so much easier to follow through! Set a goal and see how far you get.